Responsibility: ability to respond
As a community singing group, we acknowledge that we inherit a world where power—defined by Dr. King as "the ability to achieve purpose and affect change"—is unevenly distributed.
In Oregon, for example, even before it was ratified as a US state, local Euro-American settlers made several laws specifically excluding African-American people from settling here. White settlers have accordingly had considerably more ability to affect change than black settlers. This is one of many examples of the way power and oppression co-evolve.
As a singing group we acknowledge that inherited belief systems of class, race, gender and sexuality may limit certain individuals' participation in our group.
We welcome anyone who sings. We don't have the answers. We listen to and believe minority voices, especially when we (the majority) are uncomfortable. We work to remove barriers to participation. We respectfully honor songs from other cultures and stay open to being changed by their stories.
And we truly believe singing together can be a powerful tool for healing the separation, pain, and shame that is part of our history.